Archives

September 2005

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Sep 30

Dahlia Lithwick nails it: “Intelligent Design” is really just Teen Talk Barbie “Science”.
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Sep 30

While the internet offers many advantages, it has also many disadvantages. One of these is that it makes some people discard all forms of courtesy. You just have to go and look at one of the many political weblog echo chambers to see all kinds of verbal abuse. But verbal abuse is not limited to politics. Occasionally, I get email from people who just can’t take the fact that I don’t like something that they do like. I’m always quite happy to have a discussion about photography - even though one needs to keep in mind that a lot of it revolves around personal tastes, which usually are different. Having said that, I can really do without emails where people tell me I’m an idiot or writing “bullshit” because I won’t agree with them on something. I guess I don’t have to explain why.
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Sep 30

Here’s something for people with a lot of money: “Beginning Oct. 23, bidders can compete in an online auction to be the subject of a portrait by one of a dozen high-profile photographers.” - story
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Sep 29

I have wanted to link to Walter Vogel’s work for a while but, up until now, there was no website available. That has now changed; unfortunately, there only is a German version. Click on “Bilder” to see the photos, form there it’s obvious what to do. My favourites are the photos from around Düsseldorf. (thanks, Frank!)
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Sep 29

Lori Nix’ takes photos of model environments. Find some more examples (also larger) here. I have a bit of a hard time understanding, though, how somebody would want to hang photos like this on the wall - to me, that kind f photography would be good in book form. (updated post)
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Sep 28

“In First World countries, the new forms of poverty are caused less by material need than by an absence of human contact, by loneliness and isolation. Those who are most at risk are people who are unable to adapt to the constraints of an ever more rationalized working world.” - Stephan Vanfleteren
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Sep 28

“‘Deutschlandscape’ – may well confound preconceived notions of the contemporary architecture scene in Germany. The fresh overview of over 38 built projects throughout Germany dating between 2000 and 2004 is a deliberate shift in focus away from metropolitan urban centres to the more peripheral areas on the urban fringe.”
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Sep 28

“Michael Burges has achieved in doing what artists have strived to do for centuries: transcending the picture.” - story
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Sep 27

Over at Gallery Hopper, Todd Walker disses Chris Jordan’s solo show at Jossi Milo. I basically disagree with almost everything he says, but you better read it yourself and make up your own mind.
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Sep 27

Kiriko Shirobayashi’s portfolio contains a set of interesting projects.
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Sep 27

Frank Rodick’s photographic work is a bit unsettling, and maybe that’s what I like about it.
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Sep 23

Common-Eye are photographers Liz Lock and Mishka Henner. They have an interesting set of photos on their website (updated again), and it seems they’re getting better and better. I like the depictions of utterly unglorious landscapes the best. (updated post)
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Sep 23

“The notion that the American film industry is a hotbed of leftist propaganda is a venerable one, and some determined demagogues will cling to it no matter what the studios do. But the studios themselves, especially after the stunning success of Mel Gibson’s independently financed “The Passion of the Christ,” have tried to strengthen their connection with religious and social conservatives, who represent not only a political constituency but a large and powerful segment of the market.” - story
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Sep 22

Cig Harvey, who became quite popular in photo-blog circles a couple of years ago, lately has done very well for herself. I’m still not nearly as enthused as others, and I like those photos the best which do not contain herself in some contrived pose.
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Sep 21

Rudo Prekop’s and Vasil Stanko’s photography are not my cup of tea, and you haven’t seen much of stuff like this here - and this is why I’m linking to it. This kind of b/w/ photography is quite popular, and there appears to be a lot of it in Eastern Europe. It is always good to be exposed to different stuff. (thanks, Roy!)
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Sep 20

Sean Hemmerle’s portfolio contains an interesting mix of architectural and environmental photography, part of which was taken in Afghanistan and Iraq.
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Sep 20

“Germany, on the Monday after the election, has two chancellors, no coalition government and little in the way of a plan how to resolve the situation. It was an election without a victor.” - story
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Sep 20

I could see the pendulum starting to swing into the opposite direction once we’ve seen too many deadpan, straight-on portraits that, after all, leave something to be desired. Isn’t that what made them interesting in the first place? Anyway, on Rod Morata’s website you can find lots of those.
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Sep 19

Astrid Kruse Jensen (blurb) is a young Danish photographer who has started to build an impressive portfolio. Some of her newer work can be seen here.
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Sep 16

I’m sure you’ve seen the photo of Mr Bush writing his bathroom-break note at the UN somewhere in an email or at the political echo chambers. Here is some background about the photo.
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Sep 16

Gabriel Jones’ work shows the influence of many of the photographers that frequent readers of this weblog have already seen here.
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Sep 15

Jules Greenberg’s portfolio contains a set of very interesting projects with something for (almost) everybody.
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Sep 14

“As a photographer, this was one of the easiest assignments I’ve ever had to photograph. As a human being, it was the toughest.” - Vincent Laforet about his photos from the aftermath of the hurricane that hit New Orleans. Note how some of the photos, especially the aerial ones, almost resemble fine-art photography.
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Sep 12

Marrigje de Maar predominantly shoots interiors. Unfortunately, you need to be able understand Dutch to find out what the photos are about. But that shouldn’t prevent you from looking; make sure not to miss the series “maidensong” and “mothersong” - both shot in Finland/Russia.
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Sep 12

Torbjørn Rødland is a video and still photography artist with quite an interesting portfolio.
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Sep 9

There is no shortage of interesting photography on Sarah Small’s website.
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Sep 9

“In the eight days since Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana, most if not all of New Orleans’ professional photographers have moved to temporary homes in other parts of the country. Like everyone else who called the city home, their future is uncertain.” - story Amongst those photographers are William Greiner and well-known jazz photographer Herman Leonard. For the latter, a fund has been established.
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Sep 8

You have to take this article with a grain of salt because Germans are not the most cheerful people. But then, the results of what they call the reunification are not all that rosy. And I’m sure most non-Germans have no idea about the actual dimension of the problem.
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Sep 7

When reporter Holger Liebs manages to find “a snapshot aesthetic” in Wolfgang Tillmans’ latest work (Truth Study Center), the photographer snaps and says that not just anybody can shoot such pictures through scratched plane windows: “In the plane, I have to sit on the non-sunny side. I have to darken the area from where I am photographing, otherwise there will be a reflection on the glass. Then I use a very wide aperture with no depth of field so that the window is not in focus. I must not sit where I’ll be taking pictures into the jet stream, otherwise I get heat striae. When checking in, I name the precise seat number: third row from the back, seat A, for example.” (found here) Needless to say, this doesn’t really refute the simple fact that the photos do have a snapshot aesthetic. Also, only somebody who can ask for a special seat on the plane and who has basic knowledge of photography can do these photos, and that’s very clearly not just anybody.
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Sep 7

Raphaël Dallaporta’s portfolio contains some neat collections of photos, some of which depict things that aren’t all that neat.
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Sep 6

Leo Fabrizio’s website contains quite a few gems, some of which are a bit hard to find, though. So keep clicking on links. Don’t miss the “Bunkers” (under “2004”).
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Sep 5

There are lots of places where you can donate money to help the victims of the desaster in New Orleans. It’s probably easiest to donate money to the Red Cross. Given that their website appears to be overwhelmed (it died on me a couple of days ago) it might be easiest to use the page on Amazon.com Also, as an added incentive, Brian Ulrich promised to send “one 11x14” print (signed) to anyone who donates $100.00 or more” (link). If there are any other photographers or artists who want to do the same or something similar please email me and I’ll add your name here. Update: There’s a Relief Auction going on at Flickr. Check it out!
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Sep 5

For those people who don’t know how to play with toys unless somebody tells them there now is the Toy Camera Handbook.
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Sep 5

Check out Marco Bohr’s work, in particular “No Ball Games”.
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Sep 5

Anoush Abrar and Aimée Hoving have been working as a team since 2004. You’ll have to click on the individual images to see the series (and you probably want to ignore some of the more commercial, run-of-the-mill stuff). In particular, check out the portraits of Iranian jews in LA and there’s some Ferrari work (for all those poor neglected car lovers who never get to see this stuff on this weblog). Also don’t miss Aimée Hoving’s personal work.
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Sep 4

Have a look at Insook Kim’s portraits.
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Sep 4

“WHAT do people really know about New Orleans?” - asks Anne Rice
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Sep 4

I’m sure every digital photographer has seen his/her inkjet prints fade. What can you do about this? The “obvious” solution is, of course, to buy better material. But as always the devil is in the details, because it’s not all that obvious what material really is better. If you go to Wilhelm Imaging Research, you’ll find a lot of information about just that. There are some very interesting “general interest” articles in that middle column (“How long inkjet-printed photos last depends on who you ask, experts say.” - pdf file), and right next to that column you can find even more nerdy technical information for those obsessed with logevity of digital photography. Lest film friends rub their hands gleefully, here’s a little snippet of information that I found in German photo magazine Photonews (I don’t think the article is online so I’m just giving a very quick and incomplete summary). A German photographer decided to test how a high-quality inkjet print would compare with a high-quality analog (lambda) print. Working with a gallery, he printed the same photo using these two technologies, sealed the photos underneath UV protection and put them on the roof of the gallery, to be exposed to sunlight for a year. As it turns out the lambda print was completely faded whereas the digital print only showed some minor shift towards yellow. Obviously, nobody stores or displays his/her photos on the roof, but this is an interesting test - so film snobs beware! Digital technology is breathing right down your neck! I personally am actually not all that interested in this debate (so please don’t email about this), but I know there are lots of people out there who read this blog and who do care about it. Also, given the steady shift of technology towards digital this topic is somewhat relevant, especially with regard to how much to ask for a photo. Some photographers told me in the past that analog prints would always fetch more from collectors because they can’t be mass-produced - given that it now seems digital prints might last much longer I am tempted to think the photo market is up for a little change of mind.
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Sep 3

“Once used purely for propaganda, photography has exploded in China in the last decade. Experimental artists have gained international success by playing with ideas of truth and fiction, the old and the new, vanishing traditions and modern urban alienation.” - story
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Sep 2

I was a bit too lazy to translate this nice article about the Bechers in its entirety, but fortunately an English version now appeared at sign and sight.
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Sep 1

Large numbers of people think that using Photoshop to do photography is just plain wrong, whereas many other people dive right in and, often, go nuts. I’ve always thought that all that matters is what you get in the end, which has some interesting consequences: For example, one could argue that all that fuss about “toy cameras” is really just wildly exaggerated when you can get the same images so easily doing some fiddling in Photoshop. Interestingly enough, most people wouldn’t accept such a digital photo while they’d heap praise on even the most boring “toy camera” photo. Well, it’s a hotly debated topic, and - as in physics - the large amount of heat leaves very little signal and quite a bit of noise. In any case, there is a fairly large community of artists who employ often quite elaborate digital or darkroom manipulations, and it appears this process - mostly done digitally - is getting ever more popular. The problem I have with this is that I can’t make up my mind about the results. I typically sway between thinking I’m either looking at the photographic equivalent of a Hallmark figurine (like this one, say) or at some pretty nice artwork. I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong to be unable to make up your mind, even though we live in times where you are supposed to have an opinion about everything. Let me link to some of those artists so that you can look at their images. Maybe you will be able to make up your mind. Note that some of them use darkroom techniques, while others use the computer. I’m not going to tell you who does what - maybe that way, you’ll see that it really doesn’t matter how you do photography but, instead, what your results look like in the end. Mia Friedrich, Lilya Corneli, Darren Holmes, Vladimir Clavijo-Telepnev, Stefano Bernardoni, and Balazs Borocz. Obviously, this list is far from complete. (slightly updated - 3 Sept.)
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Sep 1

Given the discussion about copyright and given that I just discovered I neevr linked to this: Lawrence Lessig is one of the US’ leading (if not the) leading expert on copyright. His book Free Culture is a must read for anybody interested in what the issues are and what can be done about it. The book is available for free (link), and it is much more interesting that you would think. It contains a very detailed discussion of what copyright used to do and what it got to do now, also what it might do etc. And if you’re still griping about me being unwilling to discuss copyright issues in the context of Thomas Ruff’s work just read the book.
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